Following a bad example

November 18th, 2003 – 10:57 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Apparently when it comes to Iraq, we’ve decided to follow the example of those paragons of human rights, the Israelis:

It is the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but transported to Iraq. A town is imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest.

Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out.

“Hey, this is just like Gaza, isn’t it?” a fiery-eyed young Iraqi policeman shouted at us from behind the chest-high, three-layer wire coils which separate his home from the rest of the surrounding dead-flat Iraqi landscape, Sunni Triangle heartland.

I’m sure this will win over those hearts and minds in no time.

Speaking of the Israelis, here’s what the International Committee of the Red Cross had to say as they prepared to end their emergency food program in the West Bank:

Vincent Bernard, an ICRC spokesman, said: “This was humanitarian relief designed to assist in a humanitarian emergency, not to address the longer-term problems caused by curfews, closures and the collapse of the economy that has occurred. It is not our responsibility to take care of the economic needs of the Palestinians. We have repeatedly said it is the responsibility of the occupying power.”

Mr Bernard denied Israeli press reports that the food programme had been cancelled for budgetary reasons. “As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility to minimise the humanitarian consequences of its actions,” he said. “You cannot go on for ever with the curfews and closures which are destroying the Palestinian economy. They have to find a different way to guarantee their security. If they lifted these security measures, the Palestinian economy, though damaged, would start again.”

Apparently the ICRC is less impressed with the occupation methods of the Israelis than the United States is.

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